Finnish Heavy Metal Fans conducted an interview with guitarist Mick Box of British hard rock veterans URIAH HEEP prior to the band's October 16 concert at Hyvinkääsali in Hyvinkaa, Finland. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On what has enabled URIAH HEEP to keep going for over 50 years:
Mick: "Over the years, we've been lucky enough to have a lot of good songs that have stood the test of time, that people still like hearing in the live arena and that gives us a platform to write new material and bring that to the show too. It's a good combination of everything, really. But I think it's because we have some good songs that people hold near and dear to their hearts. It was my baby in the beginning and it's something that I fairly believed in. And I always believed that if you got the right chemistry of musicians together and good songs, that it could go on forever. So far that's proved to be correct. [Laughs]"
On the band's latest studio album, 2018's "Living The Dream":
Mick: "I had 'Living The Dream' for a long while. I had it in my notebook and I started writing some riffy-chord things, then I went down to Phil Lanzon, our keyboard player's house. When a new album comes together, it's usually me and him that write most of the music and the songs and lyrics and everything. So, he usually has a lot of keyboard parts and I have a lot of guitar parts and marry them together. We're very kindred spirits. We're very in tune with each other musically and mentally, and joking around. We have good fun doing it. That's when we start making the album. We write as much as we can. We record a bit on to the computer as much as we can. We never finish too much because you spend so much time in detail that you can play it to the boys and it's in the bin in 30 seconds — they don't like it. You have to keep writing, writing and writing. Then we play them to the boys, they say, 'We like this one. We like this one. We'll work on this one.' Then you get an idea of where the direction of the album should go. Then we go into a pre-production period where we knock around the arrangements and everything else, then we send it to our producer, Jay [Ruston], over in L.A., and Jay looks at everything, and goes, 'This is in great shape. Let's come over and record it.' I think we put three weeks down to record it, which is fast in anyone's book, but we did it in two. [Laughs]"
On what has changed for URIAH HEEP since they broke on to the scene in the early 1970s:
Mick: "The world's changed. Along with the world changes, music changes. The music has changed, the way you buy it, you listen to it, you can get it on your computer now. You can do more things on your iPhone and you don't have to leave home, to shop, to do anything. Back in the early days, there was only music, sport and fashion that people were interested in, therefore a lot of importance was given to music, therefore, people invested time in it. Nowadays, it's here today and gone tomorrow. It's all done on a computer. Buy it, delete it — that's all it takes. Before you used to go down to record shops and go through all the covers and pull them out and go, 'Oh yeah, I like that one!' Get excited and read it, then frame the artwork at home. That's all gone now. A lot of it has changed. As I said, from the way you listen to music to the way you buy it. It's tactile anymore. You don't touch it. It arrives on a computer and you play it. Which is a real shame because when you make an album like you did in the old days, it's the immediate tracks that get your attention, but it's giving time to the other tracks to embed themselves in you and suddenly they became more important than the initial tracks you went to. Because you get tired of that. People don't do that now. They just get the tracks that initially attracts them and don't go any further, which is a shame because it's not what music is all about. Music is a journey."
URIAH HEEP released its 25th studio album, "Living The Dream", in September 2018 via Frontiers Music Srl.